As more and more people engage in physical activity in their efforts to get in shape, it should be no surprise that dentists continue to see an increase in dental problems related to sports and other fitness activities. One of the more common dental related sports injuries is a chipped or broken tooth. Dentists see these injuries almost daily in athletes of all ages and shapes. In majority of cases, the dentist will treat the chipped or broken tooth using a esthetic bonding, dental veneers or a crown. The exact treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on the size and location of the chip.
On smaller chips, the dentist will use dental bonding to make the necessary repairs. The dentist will use the material used in bonded fillings to build up and shape the broken off part of the tooth. Done properly, the repair will last for years and will not be noticeable. There have been cases where the entire side of a broken molar down to the gum line have been repaired using this technique with the repair still performing 15 years later without issue.
In many cases if the chip is too large for bonding, a porcelain veneer is used and provides excellent long-term results. In some cases the damage to the tooth may be so severe that the dentist will recommend that a porcelain crown be fabricated and installed. This usually happens when a large percentage of the tooth is broken. One thing to keep in mind when playing any sort of contact sport is to use a athletic mouth guard to reduce the risk of tooth damage. However, if a tooth does get chipped or broken, there are a number of repair options available.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Scott Merritt, BridgeMill Dentistry
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